Hillary Clinton is terrible at being a politician. Back in 2008, Barack Obama realized that he needed to avoid alienating blue collar rust belt workers in order to win the general election, and he knew that many of them were concerned about his well earned reputation as a gun grabber. Rather than risk alienating his voting base by trying to sound like he wasn’t opposed to guns, he instead made the argument that it wasn’t politically possible for him to take anyone’s guns even if he wanted to:
“If you’ve got a gun in your house, I’m not taking it,’’ Obama said. But the Illinois senator could still see skeptics in the crowd, particularly on the faces of several men at the back of the room.
So he tried again. “Even if I want to take them away, I don’t have the votes in Congress,’’ he said. “This can’t be the reason not to vote for me. Can everyone hear me in the back? I see a couple of sportsmen back there. I’m not going to take away your guns.’’
This, of course, turned out to be a lie, as Obama tried to do quite a bit to take away guns even without a single vote in Congress. But at least Obama had the political sense to know that he needed to say that Congress acted as a backstop to any gun grabbing impulses he might have.
Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, is showing the same tin ear that has her running scared from Bernie Sanders, of all people:
If Congress refuses to act to end this epidemic of gun violence, I’ll take administrative action to do so. -H
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 5, 2015
What Hillary Clinton is doing here is making the mistake of believing that the news media she watches all day is representative of the American people as a whole. In fact, they are not. For the last two months solid, the news media has ghoulishly fixated on every tragedy that has occurred in this country and tried to pound home the message that everyone believes it is too easy in this country to buy a gun.
Their transparent campaign has backfired spectacularly. Gallup has been polling the question “Do you think it is too easy to buy a gun in the United States” continually for decades. A couple weeks ago, for the first time since 1989, the number of respondents who answered that question “yes” fell to below 50%. A non-stop anti-gun full court press by the media has actually made it so that a majority of Americans now think it is either too difficult to buy a gun or that the amount of protections we have in place are just right.
Part of this is the failure of the gun control advocates to even articulate what it is they want to accomplish. The standard trope for years has been background checks, but none of the recent shootings has featured a shooter who obtained a weapon by purchasing a gun from a place that didn’t require a background check.
I happened to be watching Morning Joe today, and Scarborough was dealing with a full panel of people who were aghast at the alleged lack of “sensible gun control” in this country. “Something,” they agreed, “should be done.” Scarborough pressed them over and over, “Okay, what Federal law should we pass to prevent something like this from happening.” None of them had anything even approaching an answer.
The reality, of course, is that most of them want to make all guns illegal, but they know that it is political poison to say so, so instead they flounder about with aimless generalities that, by their own admission, would not have prevented the very tragedies they are attempting to make political hay out of. And in the end, the American people are largely wise to the notion that evil cannot be contained with “sensible gun control” legislation, and sends politicians who are ignorant of this fact on their way.
Thankfully for us, Hillary Clinton hasn’t gotten this memo yet.